Happiness In Slavery (Excerpt) – Emerald

We sat in a circle in Pat’s apartment.  There were eight of us in the room: Nathan, Pat and I; two other guys and three girls.

I didn’t recognize any of the other people at the party.  There were roughly fourteen other people at the party but they were in the living room watching sports and doing shots.

Earlier, I’d gone through the living room to get to the washroom and saw three overweight guys in stained football jerseys talking loudly and wrestling.  I didn’t know what they were wrestling about, or if they even needed a genuine reason to, but it all looked so stupid to me.

I used the washroom and came back to Pat’s room for the massive bong rips we were about to take.

Pat had the most insane bong I’d ever seen.  It went all the way up to my belly button if I was standing, and it was taller than me when I was sitting.

We all contributed a little bit of weed into the oversized bowl.

One of the girls, a strikingly beautiful brunette with dark, exotic looking eyes, said: “I think I have a little hash,”

She reached into her backpack.  I saw a box of condoms, a small glass pipe, something that looked like a whip, and a copy of the newest issue of Rolling Stone magazine.

She zipped the bag closed and I couldn’t help but wonder what else was in there.

She sprinkled some hash over the top of the bowl and then we all took turns taking huge hits.

Another thing I loved about Pat’s bong was his bong water.  It was half water, half mouth wash.  It helped with the harshness of the smoke, and secondly, your breath. Yet another cool feature of the bong was that it had an ice catcher.  You’d put a cube or two of ice into the neck of the bong and it was supposed to make the smoke smoother going down.  I didn’t know the real, scientific reason for the ice catcher, and maybe it didn’t even help at all and we just thought it did because we were high, but I thought it made the bong more sophisticated somehow.

Pat turned on some trippy music he’d been collecting on his Mp3 player and we all closed our eyes and took in the wonderful sounds cascading down around us.

In the blackness behind my eyelids I saw a face.  It was a female face and one I didn’t really recognize, but somehow knew I should.

She was saying something.  Her mouth was moving, but I couldn’t understand what she was saying.  It looked like she was saying: “Yoga.”

“Hi.  I’m Emerald,”

The girl with seductive eyes was sitting next to me.  Closer up, I could see the flawlessness of her beauty.  She had large, almond shaped eyes cloaked in dark, smoky eye shadow.  Her dark eyeliner arced up toward her eyebrows on the far side of each eye, making her look somewhat Egyptian; like a punk rock Cleopatra.  I was kind of taken aback that she would talk to me.

I stammered out my response: “Hi.  I’m Grey,” Of course it was a lie.  My real name was nowhere near as cool as Grey, but she was gorgeous and seemingly interested in me and I was very interested in her.

“That’s a really intriguing name,”

I wondered if she had realized I was a totally full of shit, but she didn’t seem turned off; rather the opposite, actually.

Suddenly I thought about it.

Grey. That was a really cool name.  How did I come up with that? I wondered.  I’m pretty sure it was an involuntary action.  It just came out.  I didn’t even think about it.

“How do you know Pat?” I asked her.

“I don’t really,” She said, but didn’t say anything more and I assumed the long silence afterwards meant I shouldn’t push the question.

I felt my whole head dissolve into mindless fragments of thought.

No no!  I need to focus!

“What . . . uh . . . so, what dos . . ,” Dos?! Shit, man!  Learn how to talk. “What do you . . . do?”

“About what?” She looked at me with her deep, intoxicating eyes, and the contours of her lips beckoned to me; scintillating in the dim light.

I laughed.  Not because anything was funny, but because of the palpable tension pressing in around me.  After awhile she too began to laugh.  She had a beautiful quiet laugh, yet it seemed to drown out all other sounds in the room, until there was only the sound of her laughter and the blood sloshing around riotously in my ears.


I don’t know why I thought the voice was directed at me, but the sound pulled me away from her gaze and I saw Nathan flagging me over.

“You have to sit here by the speaker,” He said.  “You can feel the bass entering your body.”

I looked back over to Emerald, but she was gone.  I scanned the room and out of the corner of my eye I saw someone walk out the bedroom door and into the hallway.  It could’ve been Emerald, maybe she was just going to the washroom.

I shrugged it off and went over to where Nathan was sitting.  He was right.  You could totally feel your body rocking out along with the music.

I closed my eyes and took in the feeling, but there was the face again.


I opened my eyes and saw they were loading another bowl.

“Where are you from?” I heard Pat ask one of the two remaining girls.  One of the girls was a blonde with frayed, ill-kempt dreadlocks and the other, the one to whom Pat was speaking with, was a short, stocky gothic girl who looked as though this was the first time she’d left her apartment in years.  She had ridiculously white skin and copious amounts of makeup staining her face.

“Here,” The Goth girl said blandly.

“No . . . I mean . . . where are you from?” Pat asked again.

She just looked at him, confused.

“I think,” The girl with dreads began, pedantically, “he means: what is your heritage?”

The gothic woman continued to look blankly at the two of them.

“I’m Italian,” Pat said.  “And like my grandparents before me, I can cook like a mofo.”

Nathan got excited and chimed in: “I’m English and I’ve inherited my tolerance for alcohol.  I can drink anyone under the table.”

“My grandparents are from the Netherlands, and you know what we’re known for,” The blonde woman with dreadlocks gave a sly grin.

I wondered whether she was talking about pot or prostitution, but the Gothic girl spat out her answer before I’d fully locked onto that thought, and it was gone.

“I’m German,” The gothic girl said, pouting.  “Where’re not really known for anything,”

“Hello!” Nathan started.  “World War II; Sausages; beer,”

“Oh great,” She rolled her eyes.  “So we’re the fat, alcoholic, Jew killers.  And that happened one time.”

Everyone laughed.

I felt as though some sort of punch line was supposed to accompany this conversation, but if there was one, no one knew what it was.  Or maybe her comment had been the punch line, albeit a very morbid one.

The track on the Mp3 player changed and I recognized the song.  It was “Rain Song” by Led Zeppelin.

Yes. I thought.  I loved that song.

“What do you like about it?”

I turned.

It was Emerald.  She must’ve just gotten back from the bathroom.

“Sorry?” I mumbled.

“What do you like about this song?  I can tell you really like it,”

“I’m hugely addicted to Led Zeppelin,” I confessed.  “Jimmy Page is a god,”

She laughed.  “I totally agree,”

“The music is so . . . so . . ,” I was searching for the word: powerful.

“Powerful?” She said, not missing a beat.

“Hey, yah!  Exactly,”

“I know what you mean,” She smiled and slid a little closer to me.

At that instant everyone got up and left the room.

“Where’s everyone going?” I asked, but no one answered me, and Emerald just shrugged.

So we followed them.

We followed them into the living room past the drunk assholes in football jerseys and out the front door, down the hallway and took the stairs to the lobby where we exited his apartment and walked for what seemed a good ten minutes before we arrived at our destination.

The park.

It was a remarkably small park; only twenty feet by twenty feet at most.  It had a solitary jungle gym and a set of seesaws.

We all got up onto the jungle gym and immediately we were deep in discussion.

I was too high to fully appreciate, or comprehend, what they were talking about and zoned out quickly.

Nathan wasn’t paying attention either, he was going up and down the slide and being entirely too loud.  I was worried we’d get busted by the police for public intoxication; although, that might have just been the paranoia of the pot kicking in.

“Did you want to go on the seesaw with me?” Emerald was sitting beside me and motioned over to the other end of the park.

“Sure,” I got up unsteadily, and sort of wobbled over to the seesaws.  My legs felt oddly numb, yet I could feel the wind against them.  The cold air seemed to cut its way through the fabric of my pants and nip at my skin.

I shook one leg in a futile effort to dislodge the wind’s teeth from my skin, but then realized how utterly silly that thought pattern was and walked embarrassedly towards the seesaw.

I got on my side, and she got on hers and we started seesawing.

“So what do you do?” She asked.

“I’m a contract killer,” I said, trying to remain deadpan.

“Really?” She smirked.  “So he sent you after me, did he?”

“Well, I could forget I saw you.”

“I know contract killers, and they don’t do anything for free.  What do you want in return?”

This was going pretty well for me.  My next comment could either make or break this night.

I had to think of something really witty, yet intriguing.

“Mew Two could totally kick Mew’s ass.”

I heard a voice from the jungle gym.

“Are they talking about Pokémon?” Emerald asked and got off the seesaw.

She walked back to the others and I followed.

Damn. I thought to myself.  I was too slow.

“Are you guys talking about Pokémon?” I asked as we neared.

“Yah,” The Gothic girl said, nonchalantly, taking a drag on her cigarette.

“No way!  Mew Two was genetically engineered to be superior to Mew, there’s no way that Mew could beat Mew Two.”

“You haven’t seen the movie?” Another voice responded.

“Well, yah, I’m just saying that it’s not realistic that a normal Mew could beat a genetically superior Mew Two.”

I laughed at the fact that the word realistic was used in a sentence about Pokemon.

“Gengar could,” Another voice shot out.  It was Nathan.  “I always played Gengar and he was awesome against Mew because ghost is good against psychic.  And Gengar was also poison, so it was like a double whammy.”

“As if you guys are talking about Pokémon,” I rolled my eyes.

“How about you?” Nathan turned to me.  “What Pokémon would you usually use?”

I looked over at Emerald.  This answer could also make or break my evening.  I had to think fast.

The blonde with the dreads saved me.  “I always played with Rapidash.  Ninetails was also a very good Pokémon,”

There were scattered sounds of agreement from those on the jungle gym.

Emerald took my hand and I felt a jolt of electricity surge through me.  I shivered.

She pulled me back over to the seesaws, but this time she waited for me to sit down and then sat down on my lap.

I was breathing in rapid gasps of air, and when I realized this, my eyes widened and I tried to slow my breathing and settle my fiercely beating heart.  The sound of the blood rushing through my head was nearly deafening.

“If I kissed you, would you let me live?” She whispered and leaned in closer.

“I don’t know,” I said, trying to swallow the large lump in my throat and sound smooth.  “It better be some phenomenal kiss.”

Her lips pressed against mine and the ecstatic feeling of it ripped through my very being.  I wrapped my arms around her and pulled her closer.

Things progressed so fast I hardly remember how we ended up back at my place.

I labouredly fiddled with the key to the apartment while she attacked my face; darting her smooth, wet tongue in and out of my mouth.  She snaked her arms around my back and I had the faint sensation, only for a split second, that there was a boa constrictor slithering around my torso slowly readying itself to squeeze the breath out of me.

I opened my eyes and saw that, of course, that wasn’t the case and realized we were still in the hallway.  I looked over at the keyhole and concentrated, as much as I could with Emerald’s tongue in my mouth, on unlocking my door.

I heard the lock turn over and I opened the door and turned the front entrance lights on.

“This is your place?” She asked as she somehow managed to remove her shoes and her coat while still ravaging my face.

“Mine, Nathan and Laura’s,” I said between mouthfuls.

“It’s nice.”


“Where’s your room?” She asked pulling me further into the apartment.

I couldn’t think straight.  Was this actually happening?  Was I going to have sex with this woman I’d only met a few hours earlier?


We burst into my room and landed together on the bed.  She grabbed my face in her hands and pressed it firmly against hers.  She pulled away slightly just enough to start kissing my neck and then licked along my jawline and finally began sucking on my ear lobes.

The wet feel of her tongue flicking quickly back and forth against the skin of my ear made my whole body erupt in goosebumps.

She stopped just long enough to say: “So are you going to fuck me or should I call a cab?”

We had sex for what seemed hours.  I couldn’t really tell because of the time dilation that happens when you get stoned, but I was sure it was at least three hours before we finally collapsed onto one another; holding each other tightly.  I could feel the wet sweat and the warmth of her body against mine and it felt amazing.

Laying there with her filled me with a wonderful feeling I didn’t want to end, but then I closed my eyes and fell asleep.


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